Carnegie Mellon University
March 28, 2016

Admitted Graduate Students Get Up Close Look at Academics

Jake Shriver hopes to leverage his technical background in mathematics and science to someday become a technical writer. He recently took advantage of the English department’s two-day open house, “Days of Welcoming,” to learn more about how a professional writing degree from Carnegie Mellon University could help him achieve his goal.

“I absolutely loved how in-depth we got into everything at the open house. We got to sit in on classes like ‘Style’ and ‘Intertextuality’ with John Oddo and meet professors,” said Shriver, who recently decided to attend the master of arts in professional writing program.

Approximately 30 admitted graduate students from across the country attended the annual event, which also included a campus tour and Q&A sessions with current graduate students. The students were admitted into the department’s three master of arts programs in literary and cultural studies, professional writing, and rhetoric; and two Ph.D. programs in literary and cultural studies and rhetoric.

“The Q&A session with current students was really helpful because we got to talk to people who not long ago were in our position,” said Alex Valin, who was accepted into the master of arts in literary and cultural studies program. “They were able to anticipate things we wanted to know and things we didn’t think about asking right off the top of our heads.”

The schedule of events also included a financial aid information session and small group meetings with faculty members.

“I had the opportunity to talk to the department head and professors about the different paths students take after graduation. The small group meetings were also a good introduction to the faculty member’s research,” said JT Wolohan, a prospective graduate student who majored in communication and rhetoric as an undergraduate at Syracuse University. “The open house helped me determine how I could fit into the master of arts in rhetoric program at CMU.”

Along with getting a taste for the academics in the English department, students had some downtime to explore the neighborhoods and vibrant city of Pittsburgh. One student traveled downtown while another student attended a CMU Philharmonic concert at the Carnegie Music Hall.

“The neighborhood CMU is situated in would make for a great location for my graduate studies,” said Wolohan.

Prospective students also had the opportunity to socialize with each other and with faculty, staff and current students at planned lunches and evening receptions on and off campus over the course of the two-day open house.

“This mix of fun, social events and well-planned advising meetings allow students to start developing relationships that will have a lasting impact on them throughout their graduate studies here at CMU,” said Marian Aguiar, director of graduate studies.

Learn more about the graduate degrees the English department offers.

Related Article:

Open House Welcomes Admitted Graduate Students

By Amanda King